Tolley Attempts to Close Successful Māori Secondary Class

Press Release – Moerewa School

Moerewa School is disappointed that the Minister of Education is directing them to close their successful Senior Secondary school class, despite their stunning interim NCEA results!17th November, 2011

Anne Tolley Attempts to Close Successful Māori Secondary Class

Moerewa School is disappointed that the Minister of Education is directing them to close their successful Senior Secondary school class, despite their stunning interim NCEA results!

“Ms Tolley has not only declined our application to keep Year 11 – 13 students at our school, but has added that she will also end the satellite arrangement that allows them to be educated here”, Principal Keri Milne-Ihimaera said today.

Moerewa School is a Decile 1, Year 1 – 10 school in Northland. They applied to the Ministry of Education in March, to extend the range of year levels at the school. For the past three years Moerewa School has had senior secondary students on site in a satellite class. The request for this secondary programme came from members of the community itself in 2005. This application to the Ministry would have allowed 27 Senior Students (Year 11 – 13) to be enrolled on the roll at Moerewa School – rather than be on the roll of another secondary school.*

Minister of Education (Anne Tolley) wrote to the Board of Trustees on 4th October – and stated that the application was denied. The Minister also stated that Moerewa School would need to end the satellite arrangement they have with another school. “This means that the Ministry expects us to shut our Senior Class down at the end of this year” Ms Milne-Ihimaera said.

The Moerewa School community met last night about this issue and stand firm in their resolve to continue to deliver senior secondary education at Moerewa School. Principal Keri Milne-Ihimaera said “the feeling from the community was clear – they want us to keep this programme going. We intend to listen to the wishes of our community. Our Board of Trustees are 100% behind this also”.

The interim NCEA results for this senior class speak for themselves;

Moerewa School – Year 11 – Level 1 – 93% pass rate
A local college achieves 54.8 % Maori pass rate, 92.3 % non-Maori pass rate
• The national statistics are 60.9 % Maori pass rate, 82.9 % non-Maori pass rate

Moerewa School – Year 12 – Level 2 – 83% pass rate
A local college achieves 65.9% Maori pass rate, 100% non-Maori pass rate
• The national statistics are 70.2 % Maori pass rate, 85.7% non-Maori pass rate

Moerewa School – Year 13 – Level 3 – 100% pass rate
A local college achieves 30.8 % Maori pass rate, 100 % non-Maori pass rate
• The national statistics are 62.3 % Maori pass rate, 79.3 % non-Maori pass rate

Moerewa School – Year 13 – UE (University Entrance)- 100% pass rate
A local college achieves 16.7 % Maori pass rate, 100 % non-Maori pass rate
• The national statistics are 47.7 % Maori pass rate, 72.7 % non-Maori pass rate

The School’s most recent ERO review (2009) commented on the success of the Secondary programme.

Ms Milne-Ihimaera said “We can’t believe that the Ministry would want us to stop our programme, when it is achieving better results than most schools nationally! It makes a mockery of the Ministry’s commitment to delivering better outcomes for Māori students – when we are doing exactly that, and we have a letter from the Minister herself that instructs us to end this programme in our school.”

*This is called having a ‘satellite unit’ where the students are on the roll of one school (in our case our Year 11 – 13 students are on the roll of an Auckland Secondary School), but there is a formal agreement between the two schools. The Memorandum of Understanding states that the students will be on the roll of one school – but they actually attend school at a different site (in our case, they attend school at MoerewaSchool). A satellite unit is an arrangement that other schools have too – and the Ministry of Education’s website sets out the requirements for schools if they want to set up a satellite arrangement between two schools.

ENDS

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